Monday 23 October 2017

Man smashed in front door of home

Accused who had 85 previous convictions jailed for six months

Swords Court
Swords Court

A father-of-one, with 85 previous convictions, who smashed in the front door of a family's home causing extensive damage and claimed he can't remember the night has been sentenced to six months in prison.

John Paul Maguire (26) initially didn't accept responsibility for the damage but when his finger prints were found on the door he had to admit to the crime, Swords District Court has heard.

The defendant went to the house in a Swords estate and the daughter of the home owner heard him smashing in the front door at 2am.

She told gardai the defendant was shouting he was going to smash up the house.

The daughter and her sister, along with the family dog, ran after the defendant and recognised him. He then turned around and kicked the dog a number of times before running off.

Two weeks later he was arrested but initially denied the allegation and declined to give gardai an account of his movements on the night.

The defendant, of Abbeyvale Place, Swords Manor in Swords pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage to the front door of a house in Berwick Rise, Swords Manor on January 2nd, 2016.

The cost of repairing the door and door frame amounted to €2,179.

After his finger prints were found on the door, he 'had to admit to it,' his defence barrister Annette Kealy told the court.

'He can't remember anything at all about the night and didn't accept responsibility as he didn't remember being there,' she said, explaining to the court the defendant has chronic ADHD and was drinking on the night.

'He lost two friends to suicide and another in a motorbike accident and took to alcohol for solace,' said Ms Kealy.

'This made his own personal problems with ADHD worse and he bitterly regrets the damage,' she said, adding the defendant gave up alcohol a month after the incident.

She said the defendant brought €1,050 in compensation and she asked Judge Dermot Dempsey to 'leave him without a custodial sentence as he can't remember anything about his actions.'

The court heard the injured party's insurance company reimbursed them for the damage after an excess of €300 was paid.

However, Judge Dempsey said the defendant has 'nothing here to satisfy me he has stopped drinking or is attending any services.'

'He has 85 previous convictions at 26 years of age and people are entitled to sleep in their beds without their property being damaged. He can't keep falling back on his illness,' said Judge Dempsey.

He said 'all options are exhausted' and convicted and imposed the six months prison sentence.

He also ordered the defendant pay €300 in compensation to the injured party and €750 to the injured party's insurance company.

Fingal Independent